Hand-Painted Railcar Graffiti

What a fantastic way to add your own character to models – great tip!


Graffiti is an essential element to realistic railcar models. There are graffiti decals available on the market, but using a commercial product to represent something so individual and organic doesn’t sit well with me. So, I paint my own using acrylics. The water-based paint allows me to blend colors and recreate the inconsistent coverage of spray paint. Plus, I can personalize the artwork.

I start by sketching the graffiti on scratch paper to get the right size and spacing for any letters. Then I paint the silhouette of the art in multiple colors, creating a gradient. When the gradient dries, I come back with a contrasting color and outline the letters, and add any other details I want. IMG_3086IMG_3088IMG_3090IMG_3091missu

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One thought on “Hand-Painted Railcar Graffiti

  1. Some of those vandals must have come well prepared with stepladders for some of those pieces! Can’t say it’s something I’d very much want to do to any of my stock (unless I accidentally bought something in blue and grey!) but it certainly takes great skill to do it.


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